Friday, April 29, 2016

16 Accelerated Reader Books About 4th Grade

Fire Up with Reading by Toni Buzzeo
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Who's Afraid of Fourth Grade by Nancy Krulik

Betsy and the Boys by Carolyn Hayward
School Trouble for Andy Russell by David Adler

Miss Matched by Shawn Stout
The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School by Candace Fleming
The Secret's Out by Kim Wayans

Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Yee

Penelope Crumb Never Forgets by Shawn Stout

Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker

Dilly for President by Cynthia Copeland
Step Fourth, Mallory by Laurie Friedman

Help! Somebody Get Me Out of Fourth Grade by Henry Winkler

Rules, Tools, and Maybe a Bully by Rachel Vail

Rosie Swanson: Fourth Grade Geek for President by Barbara Park

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lowes Build & Grow -- Chalkboard Planter

Isn't this a nice idea for a Lowe's Build and Grow -- a Chalkboard Planter. My son was bummed I saw the flier that came home with him from his last Build and Grow that told about this one. The idea is to make this as a Mother's Day present, which is why he was bummed because it was supposed to be a surprise for me. I will have to pretend that I forgot about it. :)

Anyways, this one is going to be different than how they did then in the past. Usually they are on Saturday mornings, but this time it will be on a THURSDAY EVENING!

This Build and Grow will be on Thursday, May 5th at 7pm. Sign up began a couple days ago, so do not delay and GET REGISTERED TODAY!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DIY Stepping Stones

Making your own Stepping Stones is easy. For the most part all you need is concrete. If you want to make them decorative you just need to find some items to embed in the concrete while it is still wet. I suggest looking for things that are smooth or the edges can be sunk down into the concrete so that it is not jagged and doesn't catch on the bottom of shoes or hurt their feet.

We used throwaway tin foil cake tins from the Dollar Tree. We put our concrete that we mixed in a bucket with a stick inside these cake tins. Because the cake tins from the Dollar Tree that are disposable are very flexible it was easy to pop out the Stepping Stones. Otherwise if you have a solid mold they might not come out as easy

Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours so the concrete can cure before taking them out. We used this project as a family finding time to be together and make something that shows our personality outside our cabin.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Healthy Lunch Idea: Tuna Salad Stuffed Avocado

This is super easy to make and filling as well. Just make tuna salad as you prefer it, using one can of drained tuna mixed with whatever accompaniment you like. I like to use a little bit of mayonnaise and some chopped dill pickle. 1 can of tuna salad should be split between two avocado halves but if you want more protein go ahead and eat the whole can of tuna.

Just fill up a avocado half with the seed removed. I like to scoop it out of the outer layer in advance because then I have an easier time eating this dish. Serve on top of any greens or lettuce that you desire.

This can be a great lunch ideas for the summer time. Works well with low carb eating, clean eating, and paleo diets. You just choose what kind of mix-ins work with your particular style of eating.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Non-Traditional Golden 50th Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

 Earlier this month, I presented you with an idea to make a handprint golden pineapple craft for a child to do. This was a craft project that my son completed to give to his grandparents as a 50th wedding anniversary gift. My husband and I wanted to be creative in what we gave to his parents for their 50th wedding anniversary and we're trying to think of a variety of things that were non-traditional but still considered golden for the golden 50th wedding anniversary.

I thought there may be some other people out there who wanted to not just give a gold frame or some other kind of gold decoration and would like to see what ideas we had.

Those ideas include Bacardi Gold rum, gold gummy bears, Gold Toe socks, a golden frame, a golden helium balloon with a card that wished them well on their golden wedding anniversary, a painting of the Golden Gate Bridge in a gold frame that my daughter made for them, gold Hershey Kisses put in a handmade Pottery dish that I made, and everything was put into a gold gift bag.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thrifty Thursday: Turn a Cereal Box in to a Magnetic Puppet Theater

This was an individual project that my daughter made a while back in school. I had taken the pictures and put them in a blog post, but just never got around to writing the text to the post.

She had a lot of fun making the project and it took a little bit of time to do it but what I like is that it mainly used supplies we already had at home and re-purposed other supplies, like a couple of cereal boxes.

To turn a cereal box into a puppet theater you will need two cereal boxes or one cereal box and some poster board. The back wall or screen could be made from poster board or some kind of cardboard.

To start out with cut one side length out of your box and secure the top of the box closed. This opening that you will cut out will be where you will insert your magnets attached to Sticks.

Then paint your cereal box on the top and the sides. We use acrylic paint because the glossy part of the Box makes it hard for other paint to stick to. Acrylic paint can go on thick enough that you only have to do one to two coats.

My daughter was making a snail race for her Puppet Theater so she painted a racetrack and grass on the sides.

While that is drying, your child can work on designing a background that you will then tape into place.

Here you can see how we taped it into place. Also, while the box is drying they can make the snails or people or whatever else they want to move by magnets out of cardstock or poster board. It needs to be a sturdy type of paper. You can see the ones my daughter made in the very top photo. Also in that picture you can see how we use thick popsicle sticks and hot glued magnets on the end. Snails or other characters used will be attached to paper clips.

To make the characters move just slide the magnetic pieces through the opening in the back of your Puppet Theater and it will create a connection with the paperclip and allow you to move it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Millennium Park and Sculptures in Chicago

Many of these Sculptures are in Millennium Park, but a couple are not and one of these from this park has now moved on to a new location in the U.S. All off these sculptures are in locations that make them free to go look at.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Chalk Art Fun!

Here are some more ideas for having fun with Chalk. We have tried a variety of shocks and I find that the Crayola brand has the brightest chalk. It also helps if your asphalt surface is darker, hours will be resurfaced this year as it has worn

If you would like some more chalk art ideas please check out my post on Northern Cheapskate called 5 Fun Ways to Play with Sidewalk Chalk. Also try out this idea on How to Make Your Own (Sidewalk) Chalk Paint.

These are all designs I drew out last year for my daughter's birthday party which was an art themed birthday party. Then I took pictures of all the kids in any of them that they wanted pictures of. They thought this was pretty fun.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Banana "Sushi" Roll-Ups

Here are a couple of fun ideas to make banana "sushi" roll ups. My kids have loved having these for a snack or for breakfast.

For both ideas you need a tortilla shell and a banana. If you use the taco size tortilla shell, a banana will fit in it nicely.

For the idea on the left I spread peanut butter on both sides of the  I wrapped up a banana on the inside and then rolled the roll in crisp rice cereal. Then slice like you would a sushi roll. This one was a little more putzy than the other but they liked it.

The one on the right is a tortilla shell with Nutella spread on one side then a banana placed on top and rolled up so that the Nutella is on the inside with the banana. Then slice the roll.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

12 - 4th & 5th Grade Accelerated Reader Books about the Garden

Your Backyard by Sally Hewitt

First Peas to the Table: How Thomas Jefferson Inspired a School Garden by Susan Grigsby
Vegetable Gardens by Lori Pupeza

Grandpa's Garden by Stella Fry

In Enzo's Splendid Gardens by Patricia Polacco
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman

It's Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona
Yard Monsters by Karen Leet

A Backyard Flower Garden for Kids by Amie Leavitt

Yucky Animals in the Yard by Alix Wood

A Kid's Guide to Perennial Gardens by Tamra Orr

Isabella's Garden by Glenda Millard

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hand Print Pineapple (Golden Anniversary Gift Idea)

My in-laws recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year.  I wanted my kids to each be able to make them a gift on their own and this is what my kindergarten son made for them.

If you have been following my blog you understand that to my kids are pretty crafty from having me as their mom. He did most of the work for this on his own. I had him draw an oval shape on the yellow paper and cut it out then glue it onto the white paper. I made the lines with the glue and let him sprinkle on the glitter and tap it off. Then I helped him out by painting his hand green so he could press it in place for the top

I also did the glue for the word golden but he sprinkled on the gold glitter on it. He did the other writing himself to.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Favorite Low-Carb Dessert Recipes

These really are as rich tasting as they look. The recipe from these Coconut Flour Cupcakes and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting can be found on the blog, All Day I Dream About Food. It is a great recipe for both if you are looking to enjoy Low Carb cupcakes and frosting.

Last week, I shared with you the recipe for Low Carb Ice Cream, and here I have it pictured with the coconut flour cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

This is another delightful recipe I found online. It uses Stevia to sweeten it. The Paleo Blueberry Lemon Poke Cake Recipe can be found on

This Coconut Flour Crust recipe of mine is great for any cheesecake and incorporates pecans in the crust.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Camouflage Toothpick Holder

This is a gift that my son made for his dad for his birthday. He used an old K-Cup as the template and mold around which to make this. It's hard to tell from the picture because of the reflection coming off the glaze but he used a pattern stamp of fish scales. Then he painted it with green and brown underglaze and I dipped it in clear glaze before the final firing.

My husband likes his toothpicks and this was the second toothpick holder we have made for him out of pottery. I made this one for him. He has that in his office. The one my son made him is at our cabin. I do think we need to make one more for him to have in our house because I hate the plastic container we have them in now because it is always being knocked over.

* we don't actually use K-Cups really, I did a couple reviews with some but we don't make it a practice of buying them. We have a reusable K-Cup that we put our own coffee in that we typically use.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lowe's Build & Grow - Kids Make a FREE Bird Feeder this Weekend

This bird feeder is just lovely! My son is already signed up and excited to go build it with his dad. It is THIS WEEKEND! Check the registration page to see if there are still spots available near you. When I checked yesterday, there was still 12 spots at the store nearest us.

I told my son he can pick to hang it up at home or at the cabin. I am not sure what he will pick.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cabin Rules Art

My daughter made this for her father for his last birthday. This hangs in our cabin. I think she did a great job!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Easy Low Carb "Ice Cream"

Easy Low Carb Ice Cream
1 Box Sugar-Free Pudding (whatever flavor you want)
16 oz Heavy Whipping Cream

Directions: Mix both ingredients in a free standing mixer until it is whipped and fluffy. Put in a sealed container and freeze for 4-6 hours. Serve as ice cream! Enjoy!

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fools! Breakfast

I am not normally an April Fool's prank kind of person butt this year I thought I would have a little fun with the kids for breakfast since they have the day off of school.

They had some cereal sitting around from a trip to grandma's that they sent back with him so I put cereal and milk in the freezer with a spoon so it was frozen when I served it to them.

Next it is apple juice that was turned into Jello by using some Knox jello packets. They can actually still eat their juice jello.

The kids got a kick out of it. It was just fun harmless humor.